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How to make game development meetings more productive

Meetings don't have to feel like a black hole of productivity. Riot Games' Juliet Nuzzo shared with us how to be frank and honest about meetings that hurt more than they help.

Meetings. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are inevitable in game development (and game journalism). It can be frustrating when it feels like a meeting is a waste of your time, but it can also be disheartening when you tell your coworkers that it’s a waste of your time. With that conundrum in the balance—what’s the best way to make sure all the meetings you have are productive?

Today, in a conversation with Riot Games producer Juliet Nuzzo (who’s leading a set of roundtables on the best production practices at this year’s GDC) we wanted to know how game developers could improve meeting culture in their companies, whether they’re as large as Riot Games or as small as Night School Studios. It turns out Nuzzo had a practical answer she was able to share even as we duked it out with League of Legends players: make sure every meeting invite has a clear agenda. 

“I picked this up from the roundtables from another producer last year [at GDC], it’s a catchy little acronym,” Nuzzo explained. “in every meeting you’re in, bring a PAD with you. Purpose, agenda, deliverables.”

To build on that idea, Nuzzo says there also needs to be agency among meeting attendees to shut down or divert a meeting if nothing productive is going on. “Don’t be afraid to call bullshit when a meeting’s not going well,” she told us. “If an agenda’s not in the meeting invite, you should say no to that meeting. If a meeting starts with an agenda and it goes wildly off track, everyone in that room is responsible for keeping it on track.”

It’s strong advice, and just one of the many topics Nuzzo plans to discuss at the Production Roundtables at this year’s Game Developers Conference. If you need more tips on how to improve productivity on your team, watch our full League session with Nuzzo above, and check out her roundtable series at the upcoming Game Developers Conference. 

And while you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more developer interviews, editor roundtables, and gameplay commentary. 

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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